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Author Topic: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi  (Read 9395 times)

Offline Gluteus Maximus

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 5427
Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2011, 08:36:20 PM »
Most tv/movie scifi is high on fi but low on sci. I can't think of many that tackle proper space ship vectored movement, or the problems of lack of gravity in a realistic manner (with the exception of Babylon 5 and possibly a few others).

Pretty well every major genre TV series or film wouldn't qualify as "proper scifi" - even such gritty "realistic" stuff as Aliens, B5, Blade Runner, Firefly etc, but that's probably not the point.

I personally tend towards the view that Commander Vyper stated. Dark and dirty is best, however I do also like pure fantasy such as Dr Who, Star Trek etc. I am happy to call them scifi, as they all give a glimpse of what might happen if our tech ever gets advanced enough - however implausible they may be.

It's really the Sense Of Wonder that makes it scifi for me. Giant kilometer-long ships, time travel, gruesomely efficient alien killers and transporter beams all ring my bell  :D

Offline Von Trinkenessen

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 311
Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2011, 09:06:21 PM »
As someone who has been Sci Fi gaming for at least 30 years,I would say more to the point is Gothic or Non -Gothic Scifi. :?
Another analogy could be Science FICTION or 'Nam or 'Stan in space or worse still not even modern's but '80s Sci Fi.
For years my gaming has been stiffled the historical constraints of Nato /Warsaw Pact TOE's or rather than thinking outside the box,not even opening the box to look outside. :-X

Sci Fi gaming like all wargaming should be a broad church encompassing all styles and not suffering from too much emphesis on compartmentalisation and pigeon holing of "sub-genres".

There we go pretentious first post over lol lol lol



Offline Doomsdave

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2208
Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2011, 12:22:10 AM »
I like pulpy stuff.  But my opinion is that Dune was the best mix of convention and fantasy elements.  That's my ideal universe. 
This is my boomstick!

Offline Bako

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2990
  • Loopy as a clock-work orange.
    • Hitting Dirtside
Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #33 on: July 13, 2011, 08:23:47 AM »
and let's face it...WH40k is hardly hard sci-fi, is it?

Hardly anything is truly 'hard sci-fi'.

Seems some pretty solid opinions in here already, and I certainly like what I've read. :D
Everything is better with lizardmen.

Offline Connectamabob

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1028
Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #34 on: July 16, 2011, 12:54:50 AM »
Sci fi is about not explaining the real science behind what your showing.

IMO stuff should be explained only so far as it is either directly situation relevant or else natural to the dialog. Anything beyond that is clutter. Unfortunately most stuff violates both of these "rules".

It is important to actually have an explanation though, even if it isn't given to the audience. Part of that is that it's just good writing practice, and part is that it's kind of a corollary to the definition of sci-fi: science is inherently about things which can be understood, magic is inherently about things which can't.

Granted, the distinction is blurry from a scientifically illiterate point of view. To most people who use cell phones (for example), cellphones are only "not magic" for arbitrary reasons, since they don't know  the first thing about what's inside or how it works. But as Drachenklinge pointed out, subjective POV is not a logically stable way of defining things.

One advantage visual media has over print is that it's high bandwidth, enabling one to cram in all kinds of incidental stuff (like technical explanations) in without diverting away from the central focus.

Take Riddick's eyes in Pitch Black as an example of how to things right:

On the one hand, the nature of the mods to his eyes are never gone into beyond the bit that's plot relevant (he can see in the dark), and a smidge of character development (he bribed a prison doctor to do it, so he'd have a survival advantage in the gloomy prison where he was kept). Only the bare dramatic essentials. No wasting time with beside-the-point verbal exposition or cutting away to beside-the-point scenic exposition.

On the other hand, the visual effect for his "eye shine" tells you quite a lot about the nature of the mods, if you're technically minded. It's clear that the people who designed it actually put some thought into how his eyes were altered and how to show that. But to those who aren't technically minded it just plain looks cool, and visually marks his eyes as being different.

The tech exposition runs parallel to the story rather than being intercut, as it would have to be in a book, and it serves double duty as both exposition and cool visuals. It's there for those who are interested, and those who aren't will never even notice it, either directly or as clutter. Elegant and efficient.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2011, 12:58:03 AM by Connectamabob »
History viewed from the inside is always a dark, digestive mess, far different from the easily recognizable cow viewed from afar by historians.

Offline Drachenklinge

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1107
  • _O ... gnihihi ...
Re: Does SciFi always mean Hard SciFi
« Reply #35 on: July 16, 2011, 08:50:59 AM »
nicely put

In Sci-Fi-novels you also get different ways of explaining things. Asimov had a great way of explaining things. Example from one of his robot-storys
the positronic brain of his robots (actually Mr Data from StarTrek got such a brain, like some sort of hommage to Asimov!)
The word "positronic" itself explains the technical function of the brain. EVERYone now KNOWS .. hey, it is working with "positrons".
In a way it is similar ro our common knowledge about real computurs ... everyone knows they are working with only different "Numbers", that is electronical positions ... 0 and 1 ... BUT ... I really like to hear a real good explanation HOW they REALLY work from someone! be my guest, I couldn't.

Others do write and write and write strange explanation about warp-drive and hyperspace never getting anywhere ... because they want to eplxain it in far to deep details. Strangling themselves with technical details. Asimov would have just use Olgov's-Emitter ... (that is actually a great scientist living in the late 2300 century, he and his collegue who died in ... etc.)

So - back to Asimov's robot-brains - from this simple explanation everyone KNOWS how his robot-brains work. Therefore ... sci-fi.

On the other hand up to this day no one know how this damn ring (you know ... THE ONE ring to rule them all!) is working, hence it's magic ... fantasy!


Sure there are all sorts of in-betweens, but as long there is a different wording for this kind of genre, there also should be some criteria to seperate them.

best wishes
Drachenklinge
best wishes
Drachenklinge
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It's no problem talking to Your miniatures! Beware, when they begin replying.

 

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